I have been working on a number of things and will update shortly with some more artwork. However, in our efforts to become a tourists in our own area, we took the day out completely yesterday to go and visit another local attraction. We took our cameras off the the Falconry centre at Hagley here in the West Midlands. I have been before but not since I have had my new camera earlier this year. So it seemed like it would be a good opportunity to have fun taking some photographs, see the birds (and birds of prey fascinate me) and of course the end product is that I get a whole load of reference material for future artwork.
So here are a few of my favourite shots.
Caracara This one was running around overturning stones for food which is an exercise to replicate how they would forage in their natural environment.
Male Turkmenian Owl named Cash who I have too say has the MOST beautiful eyes. There is something about owls that draws me to them and yet I suspect they don't have the intelligence of the hawks.
Here we have an eagle eye!
Little Owl which is native to the UK. I enjoyed seeing this one as for a number of years I have known the location of one and watched it on many occasions. However, I have not really been in a position to photograph it in the wild.
It was clear that this lady is a very committed falconer and I have to say the display was excellent. It is always enjoyable when someone is so enthusiastic and it became quite clear that she had a number of years experience. Her knowledge is astounding and I really did enjoy the display. I suspect a lot of energy is expended in working with these birds and when you consider the weight of some of them, just holding them on your arm is no mean feat.
The length of the show was also a lttle unexpected. The last time we were there was a week day and although they fly the birds every day, I know that last time we were watching them exercise the birds. Whereas, yesterday was really a very well done show of them which I understand will continue throughout this week.
I very much need to practice my flying shots for sure but I was delighted with some of the stills.
Male Ferruginous Hawk This one was making a lot of noise! He reminded me of a very demanding child, LOL.
This was Cash Flying and this photograph is courtesy of Andy who seemed to get all the good flying shots yesterday.
We were invited to sit in the arena for this part of the show, needless to say Andy and myself were too busy taking photographs, so we have some rather amusing ones of people as Cash swooped over their heads ;) this is one of mine.
I think we both took in the region of 250 photographs yesterday. Flying shots can be difficult because of the swiftness of the bird. The Goshawks for example are very difficult to capture and I suspect that we dumped three quarters of our "in flight" images. Despite the difficulties, Andy did get some cracking ones, so here are some more of the Harris Hawk.
The centre also acts as a sanctuary for sick or injured birds of prey and rehabilitates them back into the wild. The visit was very enjoyable and definately worth the entrance fee. If you want to visit, their website with directions and further information can be found at The Falconry Centre.
Here is a final image of Cash posing, I suspect he is rather good at it :D
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